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Old February 25 2011, 01:00 AM   #334
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

I'm sad that I'm late to the party here! Just a few thoughts...

Rush Limborg wrote:
Furthermore, the Romulans will not be "first among equals," if the Tzenkethi have anything to say about it.
Will the Tzenkethi have anything to say about it? They successfully maneuvered events so that Kammemor became Praetor, but that doesn't mean that their every manipulation will be so successful. And it's entirely possible that the Tal Shiar might end up being much better at its counterintelligence function now that Sela is running it instead of someone who's distracted by his constant attempts to become the power behind the throne.

And speaking of the throne -- I wonder if the Romulan monarchy will be restored now that Romulus is (apparently) finally politically stable for the first time since the Emperor was assassinated during the Dominion War?

On that note...the best thing, say, Section 31--or SI, if that "feels" better--can do now is to reveal to its contacts in the Tal Shiar--and, therefore, to the RSE government--that they've been played like a fiddle by the Tzenkethi.
I completely agree; were I the Federation President and made aware of the role of the Tzenkethi in assassinating a Romulan Senator and Romulan Praetor, I'd strongly consider disclosing as much of that information and its verification as I possibly could (without endangering Federation assets on Romulus). (I do say "strongly consider" because there might be some virtue in keeping that as a trump card close to the chest for a while yet, but I digress.)

But what makes you think that either Section 31 or Starfleet Intelligence or the Federation Security Agency (the Federation's civilian intelligence agency -- think of it as the CIA to Starfleet Intelligence's Defense Intelligence Agency) has any clue of the Tzenkethi role in the fall of Tal'Aura's government?

Romulans, being a proud people, will NOT take kindly to another race--ESPECIALLY an "ally"--interfering in their political affairs in that manner! Yet another reason that it is in Kammemor's best interests to break away from the Pact.
Well, that depends, really. If I'm Praetor of the Romulan Star Empire, I'm inclined to say that it's in the Star Empire's best interests to expose the Tezkethi government's actions to the rest of the Pact and get the Tzenkethi Coalition expelled from the Pact. That would allow Romulus to retain the advantages of Pact membership while removing a rival for dominance within the pact who interfered with its internal affairs.

The Klingons may be...unsanitary to the Romulans, but at least they do not believe in "behind-the scenes" plots.
Tell that to Klingon Imperial Intelligence.

Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
But remember the entire point of the Pact: To counter the influence of the Federation.
Basically, overall, I think it's not so much "the Pact is out to get the Federation", it's more "the Pact is convinced to a paranoid extreme that the Federation is out to get them" - and they're making their stand. Maybe they'll get the Federation first! The Federation needs to convince them that they're wrong to see it in these terms...
Brilliant post, Nasat!

(Though I would say that for at least the Breen and the Tholians, their hostility is at least somewhat more active than the others' -- enough that they wanted to actively undermine Federation technological superiority and social stability without actually provoking a war, hence the theft of the slipstream drive and decision to drive a wedge between the Federation and Andor.)

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Now, one could argue that the Tholian's "We Will Bury You"-type rant in that book is not representative of the Pact as a whole. I grant that. However--this begs for the question: has the Pact disavowed these claims in an official manner?
Has the Pact's Board of Governors even heard Tezrene's words?

Nonetheless...we simply cannot assume that the Pact simply wants to engage in Peaceful Coexistence. We can certainly hope for that--but the more aggresive words and actions of the Tholians and the Breen should, at the very least, give us pause.
Certainly. But it's important not to paint the Pact in Hitlerian terms, too. If I were a Federation Councillor, I would argue that we shouldn't treat the Pact as though it's a mere continuation of prior enemy regimes; we should treat it as its own unique entity, still feeling its way around, still trying to figure out how it's going to function, still swayable one way or the other.

While it's pretty obvious that amongst the Breen and the Tholians, there's a strong anti-Federation sentiment that has achieved enough sway to initiate actions against the Federation that wouldn't lead to war, it's not clear at all yet which factions will ultimately dominate the Pact as a whole. Certainly the rise of the Kammemor government and the Gorn's historic diplomacy suggests that the moderates may yet win the day there.

Hope for the best--but prepare for the worst. And if the worst should happen...Kamemor had better be prepared to chose on which side of the line in the sand she will stand.
There's a such thing as getting deeply premature when you start making proclamations about people needing to "choose sides" if "the worst should happen." It would be absolutely disastrous for the Federation to issue a warning like that.

You also pointed out the hypocrisy in the Romulans' making these claims about Imperialism. Might I also point out that the Federation has never tried to "assimilate" these other powers. All members have, of course, became such of their own free will.
Well, yes and no. Yes, every Federation Member State has become such by its own free will. But the stated intention of the Federation is to persuade every culture it encounters into adopting its values (when they conflict) and joining the Federation. Eddington was not wrong when he claimed in "For the Cause" that the Federation was sending aide to the Cardassians at least in part because it wanted the Cardassian Union to one day take its rightful place on the Federation Council.

You might draw a comparison to globalism and the spread of American culture through commercial pressures today. The United States is not out to conquer the People's Republic of China, but I can't say I blame the average Chinese person if he feels threatened by the fact that his ancient, beautiful culture is now host to a so many McDonalds franchises.

That's not to say that the Federation is imperialistic in the traditional sense. It's probably the most benign form of "cultural imperialism" imaginable -- and I'd argue that even that term is pushing it, since the Federation seems to hold to a rather loose set of values that allow many difficult cultures to flourish within its borders. But let's not pretend that the Federation agenda is not to convince everyone it meets to join the party, either.

Now...I could understand their fears being due to the fact that the UFP is big. However, a look at Star Charts shows that the Tholians and the Breen are not exactly innocent in that regard.
Of course not. No one's claiming that the Tholians and Breen are intellectually consistent. They're saying that they have a point about the Federation even as they're blind about their own behavior -- which is often the case with any culture. No culture is perfect, but all cultures have an easier time seeing other cultures' flaws than their own.

Finally...if it truly is due to a (real or percieved) fear of UFP Imperialism...then I wonder, what would be the UFP's solution, to dissuade their fears, and make them learn to love us?
Well, that's just the point, though: They're threatened by the fact that the Federation wants them to "love us." There's really nothing the Federation can do to stop that.

Sometimes, hatahs gonna hate. The best you can do is to avoid provoking overtly hostile actions; you can't always expect to be able to convince people to love you and join the party. Let the angry dog eat its bone and it won't try to bite you, even if it growls a bit.

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
It would seem that, considering how accomodation would be taken as a sign of weakness and encourage their hitting the UFP--and how a strong defense would make them fearful, and hit the UFP--

Either way, the UFP gets hit.
Not necessarily. That kind of conclusion, I think, is ultimately where the two sides in this debate part ways.

Again, the thing to remember is that the Typhon Pact has many different factions within it vying for dominance -- both within its members and between its members. There are many, many different scenarios that could play out.

The Federation may have to give up the idea of ever getting, say, the Tholians to "love them," and certainly the Federation needs to avoid showing weakness. But that doesn't mean that demonstrating strength will be better. Sometimes, the best choice is to do nothing. When nothing happens, tempers have a habit of cooling, after all.

"They will hit us" is not a given. That's the issue.

flandry84 wrote: View Post
Ceding planets/sectors to the Typhon pact?
That worked really well with the Cardassian union.
Appeasement never works.
There's no evidence the Typhon Pact has any territorial designs upon Federation worlds.
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